Associated Press via FOX59.com
The issue has become quite a controversy in the racing world as NASCAR only recently stopped policing pit crews, leaving the ability for crews to ignore a lug nut and jeopardizing driver safety.
The practice of dropping a lug nut is common with some teams who want to gain better time on their laps, but Stewart says it’s “not a game you play with safety” and the “envelope is going to keep getting pushed until somebody gets hurt”.
But, a new statement shows that Stewart does not stand alone in the lug nut controversy.
The Driver’s Council is a group of drivers who formed in 2015 to stand as a speaking body for driver’s rights and to give lesser-heard drivers a voice on issues raised with NASCAR.
In a statement released to NBC Sports, the Council spoke through Denny Hamlin to stand alongside Stewart.
“We as drivers believe Tony has the right to speak his opinion on topics that pertain to a sport that he has spent nearly two decades helping build as both a driver and an owner,” Hamlin said. “While we do not condone drivers lashing out freely at NASCAR, we do feel Tony was in his rights to state his opinion.”
The Council did not stop there. Hamlin also revealed that the Council had convened on the matter and had reached consensus to take action on the matter.
“We as a Council support him and do not agree with the fine,” Hamlin continued. “Therefore, we fellow council members have agreed to contribute equally to paying his fine.”
And with that, there possibly is even more tension raised in the heated matter as the Council has stepped between NASCAR and Stewart, absorbing his fine.
The Council holds many well-known drivers such as, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Larson, and more – including Stewart.
What do you think of the Council’s decision and actions?
Watch a “flashback Friday” moment with Tony Stewart in the video below where he gave NASCAR fans a glimpse at his sprawling ranch in Indiana.
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